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Poster: fenario80 Date: Dec 14, 2010 12:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who was Pearly Baker?

This seemed like such a stretch, and I was so ready to just dismiss it as some English Lit guy with waaay too much time on his hands, but the truth is that, right or wrong, it's an interesting interpretation.

For me, this read streamlines the song's message quite a bit and adds a hint of the dark Hunter humor that seemed to have been missing, in the way the wanderer misunderstands what the Wharf Rat was saying. "Purely Baker was right: booze will mess up your life." "Oh, yeah? I got a girl, too." It also explains why there even is a wanderer, which is something I have wondered before about this song - "Why is it structured like a conversation? Why is it narrated?" Maybe the narrator is there just so that he can be unreliable ...

Not sure I buy it 100%, but it opens the song up in a really interesting direction, so many thanks for that.

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Poster: sunmonster Date: Dec 14, 2010 5:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who was Pearly Baker?

Exactly. Buy it or not, it's a thoughtful and innovative interpretation.

Furthermore, whatever Hunter himself was thinking, if it helps us view the song in a new light, what's the harm?